In defence of Vinyl

Sometimes you just have to suffer


Have you ever had the feeling that clubs are just too cool? Endless repetitive dance music vaguely resembling a song you might once have sort of known, aggressive smoke machines, everyone doing their best faux-cool smirks. Have you ever wanted to actually enjoy dancing to something for once?

Enter Vinyl, the single coolest club under a Waterstones in the UK *(*statistically doubtful). You’ll like it if you enjoy light-up dance floors which are always slippery with spilt VK, DJ’s who feel honour-bound to announce everyone’s birthdays (the day they realise that none of us care will indeed be a joyous one), and a plethora of John's/Trinity/King's lads in white shirts/blazers/inexplicably disturbing garms for some form of swap/initiation/mating rituals (delete as appropriate.).

It's not a good club. I will go on record and say this. I’m not about to lie to you and make it seem like it’s some kind of London-y wonderland full of eclectic cool kids, all wearing the nattiest Filas and oversized wavy jumpers. It’s not, and it never will be. However, if you don’t want all that- or you just want a break from it – and you like classic bangers, Sunday Vinyl is your place.

They pretty much only play stuff that makes people go wide-mouthed with joy, stand up and go “TUUUUUNNEEE”- which is all you need for a brilliant night out. There’s also a techno remix of the Pirates of the Caribbean which they play towards 2:30am which causes the maddest reactions in people: from sheer despair to pure joy and weird robot dancing.

I really enjoy Vinyl. I wouldn’t go there to drink, in fact I’ve only drunk there once, and I wouldn’t go there to make friends (you can’t see people’s faces on a Sunday because it gets too madly crowded). Yet if you go there with people you like, and you’re not at all self-conscious, you end up dancing to Rick Astley at 2am whilst crushed up against every member of your college Union, which is guaranteed to lift your spirits. And you will be lifted: I cannot overstate how crowded it gets in there. I imagine its what Queen at Wembley were like, except Freddie Mercury is definitively not there.

I know Life was an institution, and that I as a mere fresher who never entered those hallowed halls will never be able to appreciate your sense of loss, but Vinyl has straighteners in the toilets now! I realise this might not be exciting for most people but I’m used to clubs which aren’t even guaranteed to have loo roll, so this is, quite frankly, a palace.

Additionally: the queue is sort of undercover for when it slings it down (God bless the Waterstones overhang), the bouncers aren’t as rude as they probably should be considering the clientele, and it’s literally a minute and a half from Van of Life, so you just crawl out of the darkness straight to the light, like a mole wearing neon body paint.

When I mentioned this defence in the Tab meeting it wasn’t met with a lot of support; the Old Guard were strongly in favour of- well, anything but Vinyl. Yet as I said then, this is the hill I’ve chosen to die on. A slippery, dark, eighties-infused hill. And then I’ll go get chips.